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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Irish surnames have had their original forms altered in many ways. Before being translated into English, Galvan appeared as O Gealbhain, derived from the words "geal," which means "bright," and "ban," which means "white."

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The surname Galvan was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they are a sept of Thomond. [1]

Because early scribes and church officials often spelled names as they sounded, a person could have many various spellings of his name.Many different spelling variations of the surname Galvan were found in the archives researched. These included Galvin, Gallivan, O'Galvin and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Galvan research. Another 363 words (26 lines of text) covering the year 1317 is included under the topic Early Galvan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 22 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Galvan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A massive wave of Irish immigrants hit North America during the 19th century. Although many early Irish immigrants made a carefully planned decision to leave left Ireland for the promise of free land, by the 1840s immigrants were fleeing a famine stricken land in desperation. The condition of Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s can be attributed to a rapidly expanding population and English imperial policies. Those Irish families that arrived in North America were essential to its rapid social, industrial, and economic development. Passenger and immigration lists have revealed a number of early Irish immigrants bearing the name Galvan:

Galvan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Diego Galvan, who arrived in America in 1812
  • Richard Galvan, who landed in New York in 1823
  • Rodrigo Galvan, who arrived in Cartagena in 1835
  • Roque Galvan, who landed in Rio de la Plata in 1835
  • Manuel Galvan, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1865


Galvan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Daniel Galvan, aged 36, who landed in America from Cork, in 1903
  • Ellie Galvan, aged 20, who landed in America from Kilworth, in 1903
  • Eleanor A. Galvan, aged 0, who emigrated to America, in 1914

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  • Lorenzo R. Galvan, American politician, Workers World Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1980
  • Jorge Galván (b. 1966), Mexican writer and engineer
  • Anna Galvan (b. 1978), retired New Zealand netball player
  • Matteo Galvan (b. 1988), Italian sprinter
  • José David Galván Martinez (b. 1973), Mexican long-distance runner
  • Diego Alberto Galván (b. 1982), Argentine footballer


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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  3. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  4. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  9. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  10. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  11. ...

The Galvan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Galvan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 February 2016 at 20:02.

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